6. Suits based on defamation. Defamation is the publication to a third party of false or misleading information that you know will cause a person the loss of reputation or other injury.
Defamation may be written, known as libel, or oral, known as slander. Employees who feel they have been wrongly terminated often accuse their employers of having defamed them if the employer discusses the termination with anyone inside or outside the company. Any discussion, written or oral, that one of your employees has within the church or with any outside person about a termination could be turned into a libel or slander suit, if the fired worker is disgruntled and looking for retribution. Thus, it is important that you limit or control any such discussions to avoid providing ammunition for such suits.
Similarly, should any church members be disciplined and asked to leave the body or voluntarily resign their membership under unpleasant terms, discussions about the circumstances of the departure among remaining members or the church leadership could lead to a lawsuit. Disparaging comments simply have no place in these situations.
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